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Lexus ES 300/ES 330



  • As I have previously posted, I too have Arctic Alpins in Upstate New York (130+ inches of snow so far) on my 2000 ES300 with Vehicle Skid Control (VSC). I purchased them from TireRack along with a set of fairly cheap alloy wheels and swap them in the Fall and Spring. They arrived pre-mounted and balanced. I also have a floor jack, breaker bar, and torque wrench to make the installation easier. There is a local tire shop that will switch them for free, but I feel I am more careful. The dealer used to have storage for the extra set of tires in the off season, but they ran out of room. Anyway, no problems so far this winter in a wide variety of snow, slush, and ice. I think the VSC is great although I had to special order the car to get it (which doesn't make a lot of sense in this region). I've taken it out after several snow storms to experiment with it and have enjoyed the great traction. However, I've still run into some conditions where it would be easy to slide through an intersection if some caution wasn't exercised.
  • I am disappointed that my new 2001 ES300 does not automatically lock upon starting the ignition. The models previous to this year had a programmable feature that would allow you to use this feature if you desired.

    When manufacturers are always trying to add safety features to vehicles, I find it strange that they would eliminate one of the best safety features on a vehicle. Since this feature was on my Camry I became very dependent on it. When I am out at night or in an unsafe neighborhood, I liked having the doors automatically lock. Lexus says when they changed the board this year, they eliminated this feature. They say some people liked it some people hated it. My feeling is if you did not like it you did not have to program it. I think most people (women especially) would cherish this feature once they have had it on a vehicle.

    Does anyone have any suggestions? I tried to get Lexus to give me a 2000 computer board, but the guy at headquarters seemed less than amused at my suggestion.
  • lievliev Posts: 93
    don't you have all-season tires on your car? so that means you have to swap your tires when the weather changes?
  • lievliev Posts: 93
    I also feel disappointed like you. Even a 99 Corolla has that feature. Wonder if we can get the dealer's shop to rewire the door locks for us. I would think that it's done through electromechanical relays and if that's the case, it can be rewired.
  • turbotcturbotc Posts: 163
    I have a 99 ES300 an I am unaware that it has the automatic locks. I may be wrong but I will look thru the manuals to see if I can find anything. Also we have this feature on our other 2 vehicles. The 96 Chrysler minivan automatically locks all doors when the speedometer reaches 15mph. When engine is shut off the driver and passenger doors can be open by just pulling the door latch open. The 2000 MB E320 when the car reaches 10mph all doors are locked. When engine is shut off all I have to do is pull the door latch on either drive or passenger door and all doors will unlock. Great feature, no need to lock or unlock. However the MB has no child safety locks on rear doors. According to the manuals, Mb does not believe in child safety locks so that if ever an accident occurs, the rear passenger can easily exit the vehicle.
  • turbotcturbotc Posts: 163
    Yes, the Michelin MXV4 are all season. I will purchase a set of 4 bridgestone Blizzak WS50 mounted on 4 steel wheels with Toyota wheel covers. Total with shipping comes to like $500. but I am hoping winter will be over soon so I plan to purchase the set this October or so for next winter.
  • I suggest you go to, which from the sounds of it you already have. From what i have read you may be better off with the Michelin Artic alpines. I have them on my Toyota Sienna minivan
    and they handle very well. Blizzaks may have better ice performance but the ride and snow capability should be more than adequate with the Alpines. I believe the ride on dry pavement with Blizzak is
    skittish with braking according to Consumer Reports Nov. 1999.
  • I have a 2000 ES300 and I know for sure that they don't have automatic door locks, programmable or otherwise. I had an aftermarket remote keyless entry system installed several years ago by Circuit City on my wife's '95 Nissan Sentra, and it instantly locks all 4 car doors when the ignition is turned on and instantly unlocks all 4 doors when the ignition is turned off. It's the greatest feature of the system, and I too was sorely disappointed that the Lexus did not have it. I even took the car in to Circuit City to see if they could add something to make it behave that way, but they said no.

    So while I still have to lock the doors with the door switch, I've sort of trained myself to grab the key just so when I turn it off and if I catch it just right, I hit the unlock on the remote and the doors open "automatically." It really gives me a thrill when that happens, which is about 25% of the time.

    If anyone finds a way to add this feature to a late model ES300, PLEASE!!!!! let us all know about it.

    Al Finegold
  • turbotcturbotc Posts: 163
    Thanks for your feedback. I will check on the Arctic Alpins. yes, I was looking at and I have been looking at as well. the Blizzaks were $76 and the Arctic Alpins were $69.
  • I have never had Blizzaks on my '98 ES300. I have heard and read that they are excellent tires for winter conditions. Frankly, I went w/ the Arctic Alpine due to the good reputation of Michelin and my satisfaction w/ the Michelin MXV4's as my 'normal' tires. The Arctic Alpnes are exceptionally quiet, for a snow tire, which also was a factor in my choice of this tire. I purchased my Arctic Apines through Discount Tire and saved approximately $75 - $100 on a set of four. I purchased the MXV4's through Dunn Tire (Buffalo, NY based tire dealer). Dunn was about $10.00 more per tire; but, when I factored in the free mounting, balancing, tire stems, Dunn had the better deal. Plus they also include free lifetime balancing and rotation alongwI/ new valve stems every 5,000 miles. I drive 30 - 35,000 miles/ year so it presents a real value in my case. I've kept the same original rims for both sets of tires since they offer a changeover on 4 tires for only $20.00
  • Bought a new 2001 ES 300 last week, and as soon as I drove off the lot, I noticed a flutter sound every time I stepped on the accelerator and we are moving. The noise is particularly loud when the car is cold. Funny, but there's no sound when I step on the accelerator in Neutral or Park or when coasting. The frequency of the sound was definitely dependent on engine speed.

    I took it to the dealer 3 days after I bought it, and they were unable to locate the source of the noise. They asked me to drive it for now and said they would revisit the issue when I took it back for the 1000 mi/1 month checkup. The problem is, the noise is BOTHERING the hell out of me and I don't even feel like driving the car at all (I bought the car because it was so enjoyable to drive in the first place).

    Anyone have an idea what to do? Should I take it back to the dealer Monday and force them to solve the problem? Should I find an independent mechanic to look at it? Should I just turn the radio up?

  • Keep on top of the dealer about this. It almost sounds like a piece of paper or rubber or something is flapping against a part when the car is moving. Maybe a label or wrapping or something that was supposed to have been removed during dealer prep but wasn't. Have you looked carefully in the engine compartment and under the car to see if something appears loose and flappable? How about on the tires or the drive shaft?

    In any event, if it happens all or most of the time, insist when you take the car in to the dealer on Monday that a service advisor or mechanic ride with you so that you can point the noise out, rather than having the dealer take the car from you and look or drive it on their own. They should have no problem with this, and you can monitor that it's driven far enough and fast enough to create the problem.

    Good luck and best wishes to you on this. I know that all of us Lexus owners have heart attacks about any noise in our cars even if we've owned the car for years, so we surely can understand your emotion and frustration over such a problem in a brand new car.

  • Driving with traction control requires training. When the system is activated you feel like the drive chain on your 1952 panhead Harley is being stretched. That nasty chainring hopping. Your impulse is to let off the gas. If you do, you set up a form of pilot controlled oscillation that will have you end up motionless. You must give it more gas to overcome rotational inertia losses caused by the braking of the spinning wheel not less.

    Its sort of like ABS. The first ABS computer program on my Chrysler would have the pedal drop to the floor during a hard stop. No matter what the operating manual said, people would lift off the pedal and then pump the brake, all the way to the accident. They had a secret recall on that one.

    Tires having an aggressive tread pattern and silica in their compounds will increase the Mu S or coefficient of static friction and help you out a whole lot. Increasing weight will not have an effect when attempting to drive up hills. Forget what they tell you, it really is physics.

    After having been stuck too many times, driven into too many snow drifts, played with chains on four wheel drive vehicles, done three sixties, and seven twenties I have found out what to do.

    I moved to So Cal. Last week it was 94 degrees during the day. I drove past Disneyland with the sunroof open and the windows down at 9:30 at night. It was 74 degrees and lovely. Wet today but it gave me a chance to turn off the sprinklers.
  • Hi, i am new to the board and was wondering when the new model would be coming out? Have there been pictures released of the car? What will be new in 2002?Thanks
  • The model hasn't been updated for some time. Anyone have a clue when Lexus will make an upgrade? I'd like to see better handling sport suspension like European cars and maybe a little more power.
  • fredvhfredvh Posts: 854
    Welcome to the Lexus ES300 board. The new, updated ES300 will be out in September, 2001 as a 2002 model year. It will be a totally new design as well as the 2002 Toyota Camry. There have been many rumors about what it will look like but I am not sure if anyone really knows as of yet. I am sure Lexus will keep the price in line with the current model since it competes with Infiniti I30 and the Acura 3.2. The Acura actually is less than the Lexus and has more standard features. I have not seen any official pictures of it yet but there have been posts here about possible look-a-likes. I hope it will have framed windows and possibly a 5-speed automatic transmission. I suspect they will keep the 6 cylinder engine with maybe a little more horsepower. Every update of a current engine, for some reason, has more horsepower. We should be finding out more about it soon now since it is only approx. 6 months away. I will be watching closely because I am in the mood for it or the new Camry.
  • Hi folks.

    Check out this web site:

    Click on the car line up, then sedans,
    then click on the lower right tab with the
    red "NEW" label. It's called the MarkII. The
    web site already lists a Camry over there so
    I don't think a MarkII is a Camry. After
    getting into the MarkII page, click on some
    of the blue letters (in Japanese). It's a
    very nice looking upscale car. Even has
    window frames! What do you think?
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    I placed a $500 deposit this past weekend on the upcoming new ES. I am number five in line at my dealer (in the Chicago area). I currently have a 1995 ES that I bought new (with only 31,000 miles on it now) and am about 90% sure I will get the new one. My deposit is fully refundable at any time.

    Also, there have been several TV shows on in Chicago about the auto show here, and one interviewed the Midwest manager for Toyota. He didn't comment on the ES, but talked briefly about the Camry and said what we already knew, that's it's coming out in the Fall.

    For those that don't know, owners of Lexus dealers were shown the new ES back in October I believe at a meeting in Colorado. They weren't given any details, but they were able to see the car up close. My dealer said Lexus felt they did not do enough to the last redesign (in 1997) to separate it from the previous 1992-96 version, and that the new one will be noticeable different from the current one.

    Also, I have been invited to a Lexus focus group in Chicago in two weeks, and the topic is the ES and the entire Lexus experience. So, maybe I'll find out some more info then. My dealer actually arranged to have me attend.
  • ved3ved3 Posts: 43
    I've never heard of that problem on an es300.
    that is surprising. but Afinegold offered some
    great advice. good luck.

    regarding auto locks, I don't think consumers
    ever demanded them to be a necessity. I'm sure
    Lexus would put them in ES if that were the case.
    I personally don't have any problem with not
    having it. Having it may even be an annoyance.

    That is a nice upscale looking sedan but I don't
    think it's the new ES. it's called Fortuna and
    not Windom. I tried to find the new ES but couldn't on the jp site. can't read japanese so
    I pretty much clicked on everything in sight.

    I really hope the 2002 ES will have some of the
    styling(front & back) similar to that of the
    current generation. I think the current gen is
    the most elegant luxury car design on the market.
    it gets better with age. I kinda got sick of
    the 1996 LS400 and latest GS400/300 designs. The
    SC400 and ES styling seem to still look fresh to
    me. After a nice wash, my ES can still turn heads.
    I think the next ES will be bigger(maybe 3.2, 230
    bhp or more), more luxurious(nav,etc) and expensive than the IS300. Lexus is deliberately
    refraining from showing it to us to make its
    introduction even more special.
    Please let us know Lenscap.
  • tiger8tiger8 Posts: 120
    I was told at the Lexus exhibit at the Chicago Auto Show yesterday that the redesigned ES300 will not be out for over a year (spring 2002) and will debut as a 2003 model. He seemed to know what he was talking about. Was he wrong?
  • ved3ved3 Posts: 43
    I've read some earlier comments about Lexus,
    Japanese cars in general, being boring, having
    no style or character. I wanna respond.
    I hope those of you who truly are owners of
    Lexus cars are not persuaded to believe that
    you're owning boring or unstylish cars. There
    is nothing wrong with our taste in styles. All
    cars have their own character. A Lexus car's
    character is being all it can be to please its
    owner. doing almost everything well. A BMW's
    character is "fun driving" but not reliable enough. Lexus cars are German cars biggest
    threat with owner satisfaction. so MB,BMW
    promoters, enthusiasts need to propagate that
    Lexus cars are boring, have no character.
    After all, MB, BMW have to be better than the
    competition at something if not at producing
    reliable cars, offering value.
    Regarding unigueness, look at BMW's 3,5,7, M coupe series. They all have the same basic
    designes except for size and luxury. Check out
    Audi's A4,A6,A8. they all look the same.
    At least each Lexus model has its own unique
    design. Even Acura is trying to do what the
    German makes are doing which is to have a
    "signature design". Acura cars tend to look alike
    these days, even the MDX SUV. So Lexus is on the
    right track of being innovative and a leader.
    Others need to catch up. And they have been
    scrambling to catch up. look at how MB,BMW have
    been offering better value, quality since the
    LS400,ES300 selling success of the early 90s.
    I just hope Lexus will not consider offering
    a "signature design" for all their cars. if so,
    then Lexus cars would really be boring.
    for now, they're on a roll.

    I know some of you are offended. sorry! just
    stating my honest opinion. for those who are
    actually MB,BMW enthusiasts disguised as Lexus
    enthusiasts, please state your claims that
    Lexus cars are boring at the BMW discussion
    board and you wouldn't have a response like this.
    Thank you!
  • sddlwsddlw Posts: 361
    It was me (and turbotc I think) that said earlier I thought my ES300 was boring and uninspired in the styling department, but that it made up for it in relaibility and the cost/benefit areas and that drove my decisions to buy. Why do you seem to imply I'm not a Lexus owner? Why can't a Lexus owner have negative thoughts as well as positive thoughts on their car? I am also an MB owner and enthusiest and I will state over and over again that my MBs are wonderful cars with a great feel and styling but have the limitation of high purchase prices for the features offered and a very high cost of maintanence. There are similar trade-offs for any car regardless of the particular car's strong points. It is silly to maintain otherwise.
  • sddlwsddlw Posts: 361
    Me again....btw: just saw a picture of the new Lexus SC with the retractable hard-top coming out soon. Pretty hot looking car. It is a little like the Boxter, but still has it's own look. Basicly awsome styling. Maybe some of that inspiration spilled over to the new ES coming out soon?? No one seems to be able to get any pics on the new ES though, so it's hard to tell.

    And, as was said a few posts ago, I don't think the ES is bad, or ugly, and I do own one. This forum helped me make up my mind and negotiate the deal back in July/August.
  • turbotcturbotc Posts: 163
    Actually I never said that the ES300 styling was boring. I actually think it is pretty attractive looking. I really like the rear lights (whitish) on the MY2000 and up. It is definitely not boring at all. I am just saying that it rides totally different than my E320. I really enjoy the handling of the MB as I really enjoy driving it. Then again they aren't comparable cars with the E320 like 20 grand more. But you can't beat the Lexus reliability. That just goes to say why so many Americans buy Japanese but if you go to Japan you will see why so few Japanese buy Americans.
  • ved3ved3 Posts: 43
    Hi guys,
    ok again sorry if I offended anyone.
    I was kinda disappointed with the new SC design
    but it is nice looking. I was expecting so much
    more from Lexus since the last SC was such an
    awsome design that left a major mark in the
    automotive world--future hall of famer for cars.
    I hope the new ES will not look like that.
    Lexus can do better. but the folding hard-top is
    impressive. I think they should try to speed it
    up though. Let's see if other manufacturers will
    do the same with their future models.
  • sddlwsddlw Posts: 361
    turbotc - sorry for wrongly including you in the "boring" catagory. I did not look back in the discussion. It's funny that you mention the rear-end. That is where I think the ES styling is the weakest!! Just goes to show you how people and opinions differ. I like the ES profile from the front center the best.

    A bit off-topic but, have you guys seen the whole new crop of convertables? The Toyota MR2, Lexus SC, Honda, the redesigned Thunderbird ... There are some really great cars coming out these days. Maybe I'll pry my wife's hands from her 84-SL and get her a 21st century car.

    btw: we test drove an SLK last year. The retractable hard-top is "way-cool". All the convienence and quiet of a sedan and yet a convertable!
  • lievliev Posts: 93
    Actually I don't understand why a lot of people say they can not tell whether the car is a ES or a Camry if they don't see the symbol on the car. I usually identify a car by looking at its taillights because taillight styles are unique on each car. I could just name any car on the road by just looking at their rear lights from a distance without looking at the symbol. The ES rear lights are never the same as the Camry's.

    After all, it comes down to "beauty is in the eye of the beholder." Each individual's taste is different. One may prefer uniqueness (that's why you see car painted with combination of lime green and purple) while other may prefer conservative looking cars, so long as the look of the car pleases their eyes. For me, the 01 ES with clear rearlights lenses is attractive and the wood steering wheel makes it look very classy. That's why I bought the car. Oops, not really. Comfort is what make me decide on the Lexus vs. the TL.
  • turbotcturbotc Posts: 163

    No problem. My wife actualy loves her ES because she says it "feminine" looking. I actually think the ES is attractive front and back. My wife thinks the E320 and the TL looks too much of a "masculine" vehicle.


    Wow, looks like you can make a good state trooper, looking for stolen cars. My wife has no clues about what cars are what. She always says "as long as I can start it and it runs, who cares?" She once came home and told me a John Deere vehicle almost ran her of the road. i said what are you talking about, John Deere don't make cars. It turned out to be a Chevy Impala which has the logo of a deer. haha
  • I found some info and pictures on the Internet and thought I should share with you guys. I don't know if they were real or touch-up pictures. Does anyone know?


  • poomjai,

    Looks like you may have hit the jackpot on the first 2002 ES300 pictures.

    BUT....if those pictures of the front end are accurate, I sure as hell am glad I have a 2000-2001 model, not the upcoming one.

    Whew. Am glad I dodged a bullet in styling degradation by buying the current model.!!!!

    Al F.
This discussion has been closed.